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» GUEST RUNDOWNS » JAMAICA’S NATIONAL SECURITY MINISTER BLAMES THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY FOR THE NATION’S MORAL DECAY!

JAMAICA’S NATIONAL SECURITY MINISTER BLAMES THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY FOR THE NATION’S MORAL DECAY!

Jamaica's National Security Minister Peter Bunting

Jamaica’s National Security Minister Peter Bunting

Kiprich
Kiprich—

Artists won’t take the blame for violence—

By Shereita Grizzle—

Jamaica’s music industry players are still mulling the statements made by Minister of National Security Peter Bunting, even a month after those comments.

In his sectoral debate presentation last month, Bunting said the country had developed a subculture of violence and lawlessness that was being reinforced and promoted by different segments of society, including the entertainment industry.

Bunting said some artists continue to use their talents to advocate violence and hatred. He then went on to explain that these kinds of music belittle women and warp the values of the nation’s children.

The minister used the fate of two of the industry’s top artists to drive home his point.

“It is instructive that two of our most iconic artists are now convicted felons serving lengthy prison sentences in the USA and Jamaica, respectively,” he said.

Buju3

Bunting did not name the artists to whom he was making reference, leaving it up to the audience to decipher.

However, one could easily conclude that the minister was speaking of Buju Banton and Vybz Kartel.

Banton is serving a 10-year sentence after being convicted on a drug charge, while Vybz Kartel is serving a 35-year-minimum life sentence with hard labor for the murder of Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams.

UNFORTUNATE STATEMENT

Following the minister’s comments, The Sunday Gleaner spoke to a few industry insiders who labelled the minister’s statement biased and unfortunate.

Recording artist KipRich said it was just unfortunate that both entertainers got involved in the things they often sang about. He also believes that crime would still be a major issue in Jamaica even if every artiste preached positive messages.

“The real problem is not the music, it’s poverty. When a man can’t find the next meal him likely fi do anything but him nah go dweet just because him listen to a song,” he said.

Vybz Kartel

Vybz Kartel

He also explained that artists cannot be blamed for the levels of violence in Jamaica because they are not the creators.

“Everything we sing bout a tings weh happen already so the whole argument nuh mek no sense. We just a talk bout weh wi see.”

SUBLIMINAL MESSAGE

Female entertainer Ikaya disagrees.

“People, especially children, idolise and look up to us so it’s important that we send out positive messages. Of course, singing about violence doesn’t make anyone get up and kill people, but over time the message is sent subliminally,” she said.

Ikaya

Ikaya

In a recent interview with Beenie Man and Agent Sasco, the issue of putting out positive music arose.

Beenie Man was quick to point out that all music is positive because the purpose of music is to uplift. He added that it becomes a problem when people misinterpret the intent of the message.

Assassin/Agent Sasco

Assassin/Agent Sasco

Agent Sasco, on the other hand, believes artists should take responsibility for the role they play in the breakdown of the society’s moral structure.

Though this is his belief, Sasco also pointed to the importance of the role parents should play. Beenie Man agreed.

Both entertainers, who are also fathers, said parents should monitor what their children listen to because the dancehall space is adult territory.

Beenie Man

Beenie Man

The minister wrapped up that segment of his presentation by saying there was plenty of blame to go around. He listed weak family structures, failing schools and communities, domestic violence and the connection between politics and criminal gangs as causal factors in the growing crime rate.

He also said that if Jamaica was to reverse the epidemic of violence, there needed to be a change in the attitude and behaviour surrounding the issue.

shereita.grizzle@gleanerjm.com

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